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Psycho-social needs of patients with HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer

Project Description

Oxford Brookes University
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences,
Oxford Institute of Nursing Midwifery and Allied Health Research

3 Year, Full -time PhD Studentship
Eligibility: Home UK/EU applicants who must be permanently resident in UK/EU
Bursary: £15,009 p.a. (3 years)
Fees: to be paid by the University
Closing date: 28th October 2019
Start Date: January 2020

Head and neck cancer (HNC) affects around 11900 people in the UK each year with 4047 deaths. There are currently 62 500 survivors of the disease. Traditionally, HNC has most commonly occurred in smokers and in heavy drinkers. Recently, however, there has been an increase in human papillomavirus (HPV)-related oropharyngeal HNC, occurring in a younger, distinct group to those with non-HPV related HNC. This epidemic remains relatively unfamiliar to most health professionals, resulting in delayed diagnosis and more severe treatment. Patients with HPV-related HNC are likely to have distinct psycho-social issues, yet little research has been conducted around their experiences, unmet supportive care and information needs.
This PhD studentship will adopt a mixed methods approach to examine the unmet information and supportive care needs of patients with HPV-related oropharyngeal HNC to inform service provision and the design of supportive care intervention(s).
Three/four research phases are proposed, including a systematic review of evidence to date; survey to assess unmet information and supportive care needs; a qualitative study to explore HPV HNC patients experiences and needs in greater depth; and a survey or interviews to explore experiences, views and current practice of health professionals caring for HPV HNC patients.
In addition to the supervisors listed above, Mr Stuart Winter (Consultant Head and Neck Surgeon, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust OUH NHS FT, Ms Kate Lawrence (MacMillan Cancer Nurse Specialist, OUH NHS FT) and Prof Paul Carding (Director of Oxford Institute of Nursing Midwifery and Allied Health Research) will act as Clinical Advisors.

The successful applicant will join the Supportive Cancer Care Research Group within the Oxford Institute of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Research.

University fees and bench fees will be met by the University for the 3 years of the Studentship.

Funding Notes

Funding Notes
Applicants should be of the highest quality and capable of submitting a PhD thesis within 3 years. Applicants should have a first class or upper second class honours degree from a Higher Education Institution in the UK or an acceptable equivalent qualification. A masters degree would be an advantage, as would a clinical nurse background, professional experience of working with cancer patients and/or previous research.


EU Applicants must have an IELTS Academic test certificate with an overall minimum score of 7.0 and no score below 6.0 issued within the last two years from an approved test centre. We will consider alternative acceptable evidence of English Language ability.

Email [email protected] to request an application form. Applications should include the application form, a CV and copies of degree certificates.
Interview date: Monday 11th November 2019

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